Virtual Changing Room

I have spent four very intense weeks browsing online in search of the prefect Christmas party dress, it’s important to me to ensure I have an outfit that is a break from the norm having been a slave to the LBD for so many years. Due to work and family needs I don’t have an awful lot of time to wander around the high street stores, and frankly, at this time of year who would want to? Its bedlam out there!

Imagine my delight when I discovered that many more retailers are enhancing the online shopping experience as started by the likes of and providing short catwalk videos of their products, as well as front, back and zoomable images. I like to be able to see how a dress hangs, swishes and fits to prevent any possible wardrobe malfunctions, so I invested a lot of time researching each dress that caught my eye.  Of course an issue with buying such a key piece online is not having the chance to try it on prior to purchase, and with Christmas swiftly approaching, restraints kick in on delivery times and exchanges if your chosen dress is not ‘the one’.

I had a bit of a dilemma on a few websites, having spotted a perfect dress I checked out the images and clicked to watch the catwalk video only to be totally put off the garment by the way the model walked. Now, before you think it’s just me being all childish and pouting because I’m not a size 8, leggy beauty, it really isn’t a size thing; I’m a very comfortable size 10/12 thank you very much.

There are some models who really give it some, sashaying down the runway as if it is the Victoria’s Secrets show and it kind of ruins the point of the video which is to provide shoppers with a clear view of how the garment fits and moves. I have definitely spent more time grousing about the model than looking at the clothes. Also, traditional catwalk models, as beautiful as they are, tend to not carry a 36D bust like me and, therefore, don’t always fill the dresses in the right places, also a bit of an issue.

I suggest that retailers look at extending their choice of models for the catwalk videos to ensure that more sizes and shapes are catered for. Alternatively we can just wait for some computer bods to come up with a new version of The Sims, or Nintendo Wii Mii’s then shoppers can upload a virtual version of themselves onto websites to try on hundreds of items with a simple click of the mouse. Just think of the savings compared to trudging down the highstreet, petrol, parking, lunch, that cute hairband from Accessorize, all the more funds for online shopping and a win win situation for retailers.

After all of this ‘research’ I ended up buying yet another LBD however I have faith in technology bringing us better more realistic online shopping experiences in the not too distant future.